Covid is killing the church. I don’t mean that tons of people in the church are getting covid. I mean the issue of covid is killing the church. The secular narrative around covid is creating tension, division, and offense in church relationships, but what does the Bible say?
Because covid is a matter of life and death, which it is, then if someone takes a point of view that others disagree with, the devil’s scheme is to tempt us with the narrative that people either don’t care about those who have gotten covid or had loved ones who have passed away from it. From the opposite side, people are tempted to think those who disagree with them are either idiots believing a false narrative or a victim of lies from our society.
The same is true about Black Lives Matter, the 2020 election, and every other social issue burning up our television screens and social media accounts. I want to look at what the Scripture says about this type of situation and how we should handle it as believers. Let’s dig into the Word:
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
Romans 14:1-10 (NIV)
Why are we judging our Christian brothers and sisters?
In this passage, Paul is dealing with a conflict that has come up between believers. He is trying to keep the social issues of their day from killing the church. Some believers are declaring that the church must worship on a particular day for it to be ‘right.’ And others do not believe it has to be on a certain day as long as when a person worships, they do it in the right spirit to God. Some people were limiting their diet believing it was the ‘right’ thing to do for their faith. Others were saying that God had made everything clean and a person could eat what they want so long as they gave thanks. Does this sound familiar? The different opinions of Christians’ believed methodology to honor Christ has always been a point of division. The devil is an expert in finding issues to divide. His greatest desire is killing the church.
The crazy Christian twitter world reveals cannibalistic Christianity. We are eating our own because we disagree about this or that. But what is Paul trying to teach us?
If people disagree with us, we can’t then lump them into a pile in our head of false teachers, false prophets, sinners, or pagans. We need to understand their motive. If their motive is that Christ be glorified, then let’s celebrate this and not judge them. If you are a Christian republican and you think the term Christian democrat is an oxymoron or if you believe the opposite to be true, can we, at the very least admit that neither party operates in the purity Christ would desire. The democratic party supports a women’s right to choose whether or not to keep a baby believing life begins at birth, not conception. Yes, the Scripture says life actually begins before conception (Jeremiah 1:5) so to take a life after conception would displease God. But on the Republican side, has anyone seen President Trump’s tweets that use words that do anything but build others up. He calls names, makes fun, and can be downright nasty. So, please, as Christians, can we accept the fact that neither political party represents Christ.
Political parties do not represent Christ, but God does call us to reflect Christ. And Christ was full of grace and truth. In the church right now, there is a temptation to put all our marbles into the truth or at least what we believe to be true, but we have forgotten about grace.
Paul goes on to call upon people to stop judging one another. The word ‘judge’ here means to project a belief or thought on to someone who has not expressed this thought or idea and then condemn them as if it is true even though it is not. This is what we are doing church. Someone says they are democratic so then we assume they love abortion. Another says they are republican and we assume they are racist. This is absurd! It is not Biblical and we are breaking God’s heart by treating one another like this. We have forgotten about grace.
Paul says if someone believes something different, we first need to consider if they are attempting to glorify Christ though it might be a different method than we would use. Could someone lean left politically, believing the government should help the poor and needy because this is what Christ would want? YES! THIS IS POSSIBLE! Is it possible for someone to lean to the right, believing the government shouldn’t take from those who have in order to give to those who have not because they believe Christians and the church should be caring for the poor in the name of Christ instead of the government in the name of the state? YES! THIS IS POSSIBLE!
Is it possible that a Christian is trying to honor God in the belief that everyone should be wearing masks as a way of loving their neighbor to honor Christ? YES!
Is it possible that a Christian is trying to honor God in the belief we should not let the government dictate how we worship because it is a slippery slope? YES!
Both can be true!
Is it possible that a Christian is trying to honor God by taking a neighbor out for a good, fatty cheeseburger and fries? YES!
Is it possible that a Christian is trying to honor God by not eating what they believe to be unhealthy food? YES!
Both can be true!
Is it possible that a Christian is trying to honor God by supporting Black Lives Matter to protest racism and police brutality? YES!
Is it possible that a Christian is trying to honor God by rejecting the Black Lives Matter organization because of their socialist agenda believing socialism historically has worked against freedom of religion? YES!
Both can be true!
When we try to force every believer to take the same side as us on every social issue, we are killing the church. Some issues are a sin issue and we want to encourage them away from sin obviously. If we believe covid is the worst pandemic we have ever known or if we believe it has been exaggerated, neither belief is sinful. The important thing for each believer is to respond in a way that glorifies Christ based on what we believe is true. The worst thing we can do is criticize and judge whose who see it differently. We can’t keep killing the church.
The point is if a Christian brother or sister sees the world different from you, so long as they are convinced that their beliefs and actions are the best way to honor Christ, then we are not to judge them. It doesn’t mean we can’t try to help them see another viewpoint and it doesn’t mean they will not change how they see the world at some point in their life. But if we judge and dismiss brothers and sisters in Christ over social issues, the devil will ravish the church like a hungry wolf devours an innocent lamb. We can agree to disagree in love without judgment and condemnation. Let us love one another and give grace, buillding up the church to the full measure of Christ. That’s way better than killing the church.
Leave your comments and let me know what you think. Are we killing the church?
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Guard Your Heart
Do you believe God has a beautiful plan for your life? If you don’t, you are denying Scripture and the very words of God. He has said that He has a plan for your life and that plan is beyond comprehension filled with hope, purpose, and prosperity of the soul (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 2:10). These bring meaning and enjoyment to life. But how do we find this plan? let’s consider this passage:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Walk in the Light
The Bible says we are to walk in the light as He is in the light. If you have been in church for any amount of time, you have heard the comparison of the things of God and light. God is the Father of Lights (James 1:17). He covers Himself in light (Psalm 104:2). Jesus was the Light of the World (John 8:12). His life is the light of men (John 1:4). This analogy saturates Scripture, and this brings us to our Verse of the Day:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 (NIV)
What does it mean to walk in the light?…Read More
Enjoying the Ride
One of my favorite memories of my oldest son was during one of the worst times in our life. I remember that we had to buy an old Mustang. I think we spent $500 at one of those car dealerships that you wondered if it was really a front for some other kind of devious activity, but we had no credit and we needed a car. I was teaching and we had a brand new baby. We were young and too far away from family. We turned to our church for our family. We are still eternally grateful for Dave and Honey, Molly, and Mendy, Pastor Mike, and Bob Bolton.
I am not sure how we got it. I think my parents gave it to our little boy for Christmas. It was a tiny plastic roller coaster-type toy that we put together in the hallway of our tiny apartment in Waco, Texas. It was made for 2-year-olds. We would put our son on this little yellow car and push him down the ten-foot track taking him…Read More